Remember that the House Ethics Committee maintains a very narrow definition of “ethics.” Almost all serious ethics allegations and investigations in Congress involve financial misconduct, employment shenanigans, actual criminal conduct or blatant conflicts of interest. The prohibition against sexual relations with staff was relatively recently added, and even more recently taken seriously, thanks to the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck. If the House really was concerned with promoting ethics rather than compliance, it would bring more investigations based on #1 in the House Code of Conduct:
1. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.
It is fair to say, I think, that this standard has been openly abandoned by both parties.
Here are the current open investigations:
Representative Alcee L. Hastings, (D-Florida),
Alcee is my favorite unethical House member, and has been for years. He was impeached and removed from the federal bench in 1989 after the Senate found him guilty of eight impeachment articles, including one charging that he had conspired to receive a $150,000 bribe. Yes, his constituents have shown themselves unworthy of Democracy. Now he is being accused of violating House rules by having a personal relationship with a member of his staff, and get this: it is with the lawyer who defended him in his impeachment trial. Hastings, who is 83, admits the relationship with Patricia Williams, whom he has had on his staff for years. They even bought a $700,000 house togethet bought a house near Boynton Beach. Hastings still owes legal fees to her for the work on his impeachment defense, raising another ethics issue regarding inappropriate gifts or “forbearance.” is seeking the payment of debts.
As we know by now, Representative Katie Hill of California, a first-term Democrat, had a sexual relationship with a member of her congressional staff and had to resign as a result—well, that and the public release of kinky nude photographs inconsistent with House Code of Conduct #1.
Representative Michael F. Q. San Nicolas (D-Guam)
The non-voting delegate is under scrutiny for yet another sexual liaison with a staff member. For a party that has embraced #MeToo as its own, the Democrats certainly have a significant lead in the number of its officials who treat their staffs as their personal dating pool. But “it’s just sex,” as the entire party chanted in unison when Bill Clinton was playing Fun with Interns.
Representative Ross Spano (R-Fla)
Spano is being investigated by the Justice Department over accusations of campaign finance violations. The House Ethics Committee said it would defer its own investigation while federal investigators see whether Mr. Spano violated Federal Election Commission rules. He reported more than $100,000 in what he called personal funds, but that wasn’t true: it was revealed that the money came from friends. Oops, he said, the filings “may have been in violation” of finance law, which limits the size of contributions.
Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich)
The “Squad” member who has made a habit of not only using the vulgar term “motherfucker” in public but also in applying it to the President of the United States (I would call both a #1 breach, but a majority of progressives apparently approve of such language) may have paid herself a $45,500 salary during her campaign and maybe after, a violation of election rules. She is credibly accused of converting campaign funds for personal use. Tlaib is not cooperating with the committee’s investigation, and seems to have been caught “red-handed.” Internal campaign communications sent by her in 2018 show Tlaib urgently requesting money from her congressional campaign to defray personal expenses. She’s now arguing that the law should be changed to make it easier for “single mothers” to run for Congress.
But you see, Representative, the time to have a laws changed is before you break it.
Representative Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.)
Ugh. Huizenga seems to have misappropriated $33,000 for pleasure trips taken by him, , members of his staff and their families.
“While these trips were generally described as campaign fund-raisers, the high cost and the attendance of staff’s families on these trips raised concerns that campaign funds were being converted for personal use to pay for vacations for Rep. Huizenga, his staff and their families,” the Ethics Committee report said.
Ya think? The trips in question included visits to Disney World in Florida, Mackinac Island in Michigan, and Deer Valley in Park City, Utah.
Facts: New York Times